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Sweet! Peak strawberry season arrives on the Central Coast

strawberry stand berry stop santa maria.jpg
Posted at 4:11 PM, Apr 06, 2021

Strawberry season is in full swing on the Central Coast and local berry stands are selling out quickly.

While strawberries are grown throughout the year in California, peak season typically starts in early spring and can last until fall.

At The Berry Stop on Stowell Rd. near Highway 101 in Santa Maria, Irais Maldonado says this year's crop produced some especially large, juicy and sweet berries.

"The season just started and luckily for us, knock on wood, we've been selling out early so it's a good sign," Maldonado said.

The Berry Stop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., selling between 30 and 90 flats a day.

"I recommend everybody show up like as early as we open," Maldonado said. "I think business is really good from like 10 a.m. all the way til 1 p.m."

According to the California Strawberry Commission, 90% of the strawberries grown in the U.S. are grown in California.

Strawberries are the top crop in Santa Barbara County, bringing in $571,167,071 in 2019.

They're tops in San Luis Obispo County, too, valued at $271,431,000 in 2019.

Santa Maria's annual celebration of the sweet, red berry, the Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival, is usually held in April. This year, instead of the typical carnival-style event, "Strawberry Cruzin'" will be held in its place.

The new drive-thru event will be held April 28 through May 2 at the Santa Maria Fairpark and will include strawberry-themed decorations, food booths, and a vintage car display.